PhaenEx 8, no.

2 (fall/winter 2013): 308-325
© 2013 Gary Steiner

Response to Commentators


I. Animals

Animals, their predicament and abuse at the hands of human beings–this is ultimately
what we are here to discuss. We have some disagreements and misunderstandings to work
through in this discussion, but what we must not forget is that right now animals are suffering
egregiously. And I would like to think that we should be able to articulate some clear guidelines
for how we may and may not treat nonhuman animals. This is what I am after in my endeavor to
articulate clear principles bearing on our treatment of animals, and in my advocacy of the vegan
imperative. To advocate this imperative is not to purport to have clean hands; it is not to consider
oneself "better" than non-vegans; it is not to assume naively that veganism is equally possible for
all human beings in all places and at all times; and it is not to pretend that anyone can "be" a
vegan once and for all, without any exceptions. It is to commit oneself very deliberately and self-
consciously to the endeavor to reduce ever more, with each passing day, the amount of violence
one (and one's society) inflicts on animals. It begins with specific steps such as, but not limited
to, never eating animals or animal products unless one's survival very literally depends on eating
them—and I am not sure, but I will wager that no one in this room at this moment is in such a
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II. What is postmodernism, and does it have a place for moral principles?
One of the things I do in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism is discuss the
notion of moral principles and imperatives—what they are, how they are formulated, how
one goes about implementing them, and, perhaps most importantly for the central theme
of the book, how principles have been misunderstood at a very basic level by a group of
thinkers that are loosely related in terms of what Richard Bernstein calls "the postmodern
ethos," an ethos that is "amorphous, protean, and shifting," but in terms of which thinkers
such as Foucault, Lyotard, Heidegger, and Derrida are related by their shared critique of
the traditional metaphysical notion of the subject, with its assumption that we have access
to clear and enduring truths about reality (Bernstein 11). The thinkers that I characterize
as “postmodern” move from the historical ideal of Cartesian clarity and distinctness to
the opposite pole of what Descartes called "obscurity and confusion." Naturally this is not
the way postmodern thinkers such as Derrida characterize their affirmation of the
primacy of irreducible multiplicity, but these in fact come to the same thing. Descartes
saw our initial confrontation with reality to be a confrontation with a vast and
incomprehensible multiplicity of phenomena, a multiplicity that from the standpoint of
unreflective experience seemed irreducibly incoherent. The move to clear and distinct
insight consisted in a reduction of multiplicity to basic structures, concepts, or insights
that disclosed the truth underlying the outward appearance of obscurity and confusion.
The thinkers I classify as "postmodern" share a basic suspicion of this attempt at a
reduction, on the grounds that it not only distorts the reality that confronts us, but
imposes ideologically pernicious assumptions onto reality. For these thinkers, for
example, the humanist idea of the equality of all human beings is a strategic conceptual
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distortion that imposes and reinforces the illusion of equality where the underlying reality
is one of differential power relations; and one sees attempts at a demystification of this
illusion in thinkers such as Marx (with his critique of the German ideology) and Foucault,
first with his archaeological investigations and then with his genealogical ones. Another
key example of the postmodern challenge to the traditional notion of the subject–more
broadly this is a challenge to an assumption that goes back to Greek antiquity–is the
challenge to what has come to be known as "human exceptionalism," the proposition that
some capacity or set of capacities is not only unique to human beings but renders human
beings morally superior to all other beings in existence. For thinkers from Aristotle and
the Stoics to John Rawls, the capacity for logos (reason or predicatively-structured
language) is unique to human beings, enables them to pursue virtue for its own sake, and
thereby renders human beings what Kant at one point calls "the lords of nature," this a
hundred and fifty years after Descartes calls human beings "the masters and possessors of
nature" (Kant sec. 83, Ak. 431; Descartes, Discourse Part 6). Thinkers such as Derrida
challenge this exclusion of animals from the realm of the symbolic, Derrida observing in
his lecture course on The Beast and the Sovereign that many non-human animals are
"autotelic," which is to say that they set goals for themselves and pursue them on their
own initiative, rather than being mere biological reaction devices, as so many traditional
thinkers had characterized nonhuman animals (Derrida, The Beast 183; “But as for me”
94). The rejection of the thesis that only humans possess logos is a challenge to the
traditional assertion of a hierarchy in which human beings are superior and nonhuman
animals and the rest of nature inferior.
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Together with this challenge to human exceptionalism, which includes a
challenge to the modern thesis that only human beings are "subjects" and all else in
nature mere "objects," the thinkers I am calling postmodern pose a strong challenge to the
idea of moral principles that is inseparable from the liberal humanism espoused by
thinkers such as Locke, Rousseau, and Kant. The premium postmodern thinkers place on
irreducible multiplicity, on what Descartes called obscurity and confusion, has as one of
its consequences the impossibility of legitimating, of providing a "transcendental
guarantee," for any sort of categorical principle that would purport to have binding
authority over anything more than a singular instant. The postmodern appeal to
multiplicity is, I argue at length in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, implicitly
an assertion of the primacy of the singular exception over any claim to general truth or
validity, where "general" signifies application to a class of moments, entities, or
situations. The singular exception, as Carl Schmitt argued in his theory of the political, is
by its very nature beyond or prior to any assertion of the validity of general norms, and
indeed cannot ultimately be governed by such norms. To assert the primacy of
multiplicity over unity in this way is to foreclose the possibility of articulating principles
with binding authority–or, to put the point another way, it is to commit oneself to the
proposition that any purported "authority" a given principle may have is simply the
reflection of an attempt by one perspective to gain ascendancy over some other
perspective. There is no stepping back from our immersion in the field of multiplicity and
assessing it, either rationally or in any other way, inasmuch as the assertion of reasons
now becomes simply the deployment of just another tool in an endless series of polemical
struggles for dominance.
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The way I put this point in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism is in terms
that I borrow from Richard Wolin, namely, in terms of the distinction between a "total"
versus an "immanent" critique of reason. Postmodern thinkers undertake a total critique
of reason, which means that they reject any ultimate authority of reason in the sense of a
faculty that could transcend the influences of power and perspective; they reject
Aristotle's ideal of the eternity of nous and the ideal of liberal political and moral
principles as well. Liberal thinkers who adhere to a traditional ideal of moral and political
principles undertake an immanent critique of reason, which means that they believe in the
power of reason to reflect in more than a contingent way on its own nature and limits. It
is their total critique of reason that prevents postmodern thinkers from even wanting to
articulate moral principles, let alone from attempting to articulate them.

III. In what sense, then, can postmodernism be "ethical"?
The answer I give to this question in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism is
that postmodernism finds itself caught in a tragic dilemma between quietism and
decisionism, between the paralysis of being able to do no more than observe and
document a multiplicity of phenomena, and the assertion of an irreducibly singular choice
that cannot be reduced to rational insight and hence cannot be discussed, disputed, or
defended so as to satisfy the criteria of anything like Habermasian discursive consensus.
I arrive at this diagnosis of the postmodern condition by devoting the first chapter of
Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism to an examination of the thought of Friedrich
Nietzsche, who provides the most influential background and impetus to the postmodern
turn. Nietzsche's perspectivism, the influence of which is utterly unmistakable in the
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thought of Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, and, I argue, an entire array of other postmodern
thinkers, involves a total critique of reason and ultimately entails an irreducibly polemical
conception of discourse–polemical in the literal sense of polemos or war. On Nietzsche's
view, the twin ideals of objectivity and individual autonomy, of a space of free,
undistorted contemplation from which one can observe and critically assess the
influences of culture and nature and take a freely chosen stand on the exigencies of
existence, is a fiction invented to serve interests of power. But Nietzsche's critique of
subjectivity only begins there. He goes further, proceeding from a critique of
Schopenhauer's conception of the world-will and Schopenhauer's ideal of "affirmation
and denial of the will" to the radical thesis that the will must be asserted at all costs,
including at the cost of the infliction of unbridled violence. Thus Nietzsche's conception
of existence is doubly polemical: he sees life in terms of power struggles, and moreover
he endorses a way of life in which freedom is nothing more or less than "the affect of
superiority in relation to him who must obey" (Nietzsche, “Prejudices” 215). In Animals
and the Limits of Postmodernism I argue that the endeavor of a number of postmodern
thinkers to detach this pernicious endorsement of violence from Nietzsche's
perspectivism is fruitless, that once we have dispensed with anything like the authority of
a reason that can transcend particular perspectives we have rendered ourselves unable to
give clear reasons why, for example, community is to be preferred to the dominance of
the many by the few, or why more generally the peaceful embrace of the other is to be
preferred to his or her violent subjection. To capitulate to perspective is to take on all the
attendant implications of Nietzsche's naturalism, in particular his polemical conception of
relations among humans as well as between human beings and nature.
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When thinkers such as Foucault or Derrida espouse ethical causes, for example
when they decry various injustices that are done to women, people of color, animals, and
generally to those who do not fit neatly into the dominant paradigm or norms, these
thinkers are doing two interrelated things: They are expressing genuinely moral concern,
and they are appealing, if only against their own intention, to principles bearing on
community and morality–not, however, principles in the sense in which one might
consider différance to be a "principle," but principles in the sense of exactly the kind of
spatiotemporally decontextualized guidelines for conduct that the appeal to irreducible
multiplicity renders incoherent or unavailable to us. When Foucault, for example,
undertakes genealogical investigations to shed light on the ways in which social
institutions and disciplinary matrices of power have conferred contingent shape and
meaning on the self, it is not difficult to see that he and those who conduct research in his
spirit are attempting to shed light on specifically ethical problems. But in doing so, these
thinkers presuppose some kind of access to concepts, insights, and guidelines that make it
possible to see particular practices as pernicious. Genealogy itself does nothing to
provide these concepts and guidelines. When I write in Animals and the Limits of
Postmodernism that Foucault treats genealogy as a kind of exception to the proposition
that all discourses are products of power relations, as if his claims about genealogy were
virtually objective statements of the way power in general works, it simply is not
sufficient to point out that Foucault acknowledges that all genealogy expresses power
relations. There is a difference of level between a discourse that reflects or describes a set
of power relations, and a meta-discourse that makes claims about the ways in which
discourses on the first level function to articulate and ramify dynamics of power. That
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Gary Steiner

Foucault makes statements of both kinds is undeniable. What we must seriously call into
question is whether his claims about the general nature and dynamics of genealogy are
compatible with the blanket assertion, taken over virtually unmodified from Nietzsche,
that all discourses are products of perspectives of power and hence not products of some
objective standpoint. And if they are compatible, then Foucault is presupposing access to
some kind of quasi-objective vision about the way things are and ought to be–quasi in the
sense that it may not be absolutely timeless, but nonetheless can transcend the
particularity of specific times and places just enough to arrive at assertions that are
implicitly offered to the reader as meta-insights that are not simply effects of whatever
power dynamics happen to prevail at the particular moment.
What I argue in the second chapter of Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism is
that the sorts of ethical claims advanced by thinkers such as Foucault and Derrida
presuppose a certain kind of vision. It is entirely fair to say that Derrida focuses his
deconstruction of the human-animal boundary in important part on the notion of touch;
and in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism I devote some of my remarks in chapter
three to the problematic implications of Heidegger's denial that an animal can possess
hands (112). Derrida and a number of other contemporary thinkers are right to challenge
the idea that only human beings have access to the rich subjective experience of touch.
And by shifting the terms of the discussion from one sense to another, namely from
vision to touch, these thinkers quite understandably are trying to shift the terms of the
discussion away from the historical focus on logos, with its well-known connection to the
capacity for vision, to the shared lived embodiment of human beings and nonhuman
But in shifting the focus of the discussion to the proposition that animals
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participate in the sense of touch, the postmodern thinkers I examine tend to ignore
something of vital importance, something that bears upon the capacity for vision: that
human beings, unlike most if not all nonhuman animals, are capable of abstract reasoning
and the formulation of ethical principles, and that this confers on us important
responsibilities that no nonhuman animals can take on. The tradition mistakenly took the
human possession of this capacity as an index of our moral superiority over nonhuman
animals, and of our supposed natural prerogative to use animals as mere means instead of
seeing our cosmic commonality and kinship with them. While I can understand and in
fact fully share the postmodern impulse to negate or discredit this traditional claim of
exceptionalism, I do not believe that the right way to do this is to characterize the field of
experience in a manner that deprives human rationality, and the capacity to formulate and
strive to live in accordance with moral principles, of their crucial potential in the
endeavor to identify and seek to redress the epic injustices that surround us. To return for
a moment to Nietzsche, I argue that Nietzsche takes some of the inspiration for his
perspectivism from David Hume, whose anti-rationalism leaves him in the position of
reducing ethics from a prescriptive endeavor to a merely descriptive one--this is what we
call murder, this is what we call exploitation, etc., without any trans-empirical standpoint
to appeal to from which we could make any prescriptive assessments about what really is
an injustice and how exactly we ought to redress it–except that, I should note, a fully-
formed utilitarianism pops up in Book 3 of the Treatise of Human Nature much in the
manner that Pallas Athena was born spontaneously out of Zeus's head. Which is to say
that Hume, just like Foucault and Derrida after him, sets forth epistemological premises
that entail a merely descriptive relationship to the irreducible multiplicity of reality, only
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to articulate in addition an ethical standpoint that presupposes exactly the kind of
autonomous vision that he has just discredited. And if Foucault and Derrida do this
unwittingly and entirely against their own avowed intentions, they do it all the same.
As do thinkers such as Levinas, who might not appear to do so inasmuch as they
appeal to alterity or the concrete claim of the other rather than to something like
irreducible multiplicity. But everything depends on what we mean by alterity or the other.
Certainly thinkers such as Levinas are not thinking of the other in the sense of a
metaphysically stable entity that confronts us in some clear and straightforward sense;
and even to the extent that we might talk of the other as a presence, that presence is
simply the outward manifestation of an underlying and irreducibly mysterious process of
what Heidegger called unconcealment: the truth of the other is ultimately aletheia not
orthotes, inasmuch as it is rooted in and emerges imperceptibly and incalculably from
physis. To this extent our fundamental relationship to the other is irreducible to
straightforward principles, and as regards animals the problem is compounded by the fact
that Levinas, although he equivocates on the question, ultimately excludes animals from
the moral community. Bobby may be the last Kantian in Nazi Germany, but he lacks a
face. I discuss this fundamental commitment and limitation of Levinas's thought in my
first book on animals, Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents (214-17).

IV. What are we to make of the denials of postmodern thinkers that they face the
dilemma between quietism and decisionism?

Any thinker who professes sincere moral concern for her fellow human beings,
for nonhuman animals, or for nature faces a serious problem if her starting assumptions
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preclude in advance the prospect of articulating clear moral principles. Characterizing
genealogy or différance as a "principle" does nothing to address or overcome this
problem. Nor should we ever be willing to take any thinker's claims or assessments of her
own ideas as dispositive. Instead we need to subject their claims to rational scrutiny, and
we need to make sure that our starting assumptions leave a place for rational critique–and
as I have noted, a total critique of reason is not rational critique but instead is a rejection
of the very possibility of such critique. We also have to acknowledge that it is troublingly
common in philosophy of all stripes for people taking different sides in a discussion to
talk past one another rather than confronting each other's logic. This is exactly what
Judith Butler does when she blithely rejects deep criticisms of postmodernism of the kind
I present in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism. I tried very hard in that book to
give as open and generous a reading of a number of postmodern thinkers as I possibly
could; and if in the end I had to conclude that the views of these thinkers are dead ends, it
was with a sense of sadness and disappointment rather than one of triumphant glee that I
did so. In her blurb for the book, Paola Cavalieri characterizes Animals and the Limits of
Postmodernism as "a clear exposition of [the] cultural roots and substantive contents [of
postmodernism], together with a sympathetic appreciation of its merits and a lucid
assessment of its shortcomings." I came to philosophy through Heidegger and Foucault,
having had the great good fortune to study with Hubert Dreyfus at Cal Berkeley. Dreyfus
introduced me to Foucault, who was during my Cal days spending a lot of time on the
Berkeley campus and lecturing frequently. My first real philosophical inspiration came
through reading Heidegger and through reading and interacting with Foucault. I then did
graduate work at Yale in the 1980s, when Derrida was spending every spring semester
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lecturing and meeting with students. There was a great deal of excitement surrounding
Derrida and his ideas at Yale while I was there, and for a time I was swept up in the
enthusiasm. But as I studied, thought, and wrote further, a looming sense began to
overtake me that there was something profoundly wrong in the unarticulated assumptions
being employed by thinkers such as Foucault and Derrida. This was a shocking,
dislocating, and deeply disappointing experience for me, made all the more difficult to
process by the fact that I continued to see real insight in these thinkers.
So what are we supposed to do if we encounter what we take to be tragic limits in
a thinker or school of thought? Look for excuses not to read those thinkers? If one sees
no value in a thinker, there is no need to look for excuses not to read him. And if one
recognizes real insight in a thinker, the additional recognition of certain tragic limits is
not by itself a reason to stop reading. In fact, I have continued to read, write about, and
teach a number of postmodern thinkers including Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida on a
regular basis throughout my career. The reason is that they open me to ways to see and
think about the world that enriches my appreciation of the human condition and our
relation to the nonhuman. But what these thinkers absolutely do not do is give me ways
to formulate anything like clear moral principles. As I argue at length in Animals and the
Limits of Postmodernism, if only against their own intention these thinkers leave us in the
position of being able to do nothing more than stare at what the young Nietzsche called
"a moveable host of metaphors" (Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies” 84).

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V. What postmodern thinkers get right, and where they stop short
When I think of what I find enriching in thinkers such as Heidegger, Foucault,
and Derrida, I am drawn to Heidegger's distinction between calculative and
contemplative thought, as I believe that it motivates a great deal of postmodern writing
and thinking, even though few postmodern thinkers seem completely aware of
Heidegger's influence on them in this connection. In the "Letter on 'Humanism',"
Heidegger calls for "a step back that lets thinking enter into a questioning that
experiences--and lets the habitual opining of philosophy fall away" (261). Heidegger
calls this open, questioning form of thinking Besinnung or contemplation, and he
contrasts it with the reductive form of thinking that projects a preconceived set of
parameters onto reality. Exemplary of calculative thinking is Cartesian-Newtonian
subjectivity, with its reduction of nature to spatiotemporal magnitudes of motion subject
to universal forces. Heidegger ties this reduction of humanity and nature to subject and
object to the modern problem of homelessness, and he conceives of the step back to
contemplative thinking as a move toward rethinking the "Aufenthalt des Menschen" or
human dwelling in the earth.
Heidegger's call for a step back is for a withdrawal from the kind of thinking that
seeks to bring about effects and exercise power over things. Contemplative thought
"releases itself into openness" and promises to fulfill the human being's potential to be
what Heidegger calls "the shepherd of being" (Heidegger, “Conversation” 68; “Letter”
252). And I believe that this call for a step back from the thinking that calculates and
seeks to exercise control over things is a vital part of the human vocation. It is what leads
thinkers such as Cary Wolfe to deride the kind of ethical principles I advocate on the
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grounds that such principles "[reduce] ethics to the very antithesis of ethics by reducing
the aporia of judgment in which the possibility of justice resides to the mechanical
unfolding of a positivist calculation" (Wolfe 69).
There is a kernel of truth in this assessment: As I have argued from my first book,
Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism, the formation of moral
commitments is irretrievably dependent on what I call an extra-rational source of
meaning; and I believe that this is what Heidegger was after in his suggestion that only
contemplative thinking has the potential to open us to a cosmos in which we find
ourselves a subordinate part of something greater. But in undertaking a total critique of
reason, Heidegger never confronts the problem with which we are left if we conceive of
experience such that our deepest moral convictions are neither defensible nor even
critically discussable with others; as I argue in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism,
this leaves us in the ethically extremely untenable position in which Kierkegaard's
Abraham finds himself: beyond the universal, and hence utterly beyond good and evil.
In my work on animals I have been trying to understand the role of reason in
ethical reflection, the vital contribution reason makes even though it is not ultimately the
origin of our moral commitments and sensibilities. That origin is, as Elisabeth de
Fontenay puts it, "pathocentric," and this means that the task is to think through the
mutual interplay of reason and feeling rather than trying to give an absolute priority to
either, and rather than trying to discredit one in order to give pride of place to the other.
Thinkers such as Heidegger would have us believe that reason must be either
instrumental or "contemplative," with no other possibilities at our disposal. I take much
of what thinkers such as Foucault and Derrida say as a testimonial to the proposition that
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reason can and does function in yet other ways, even if these thinkers fail or refuse to
acknowledge the role of a liberal conception of reason in their own thinking. These
thinkers implicitly follow the terms of Heidegger's distinction between calculative and
contemplative thinking and make what to me are very clear invocations of contemplative
thought in their reflections on injustice. What they, like Heidegger, do not do, is return
from the realm of contemplation and employ critical reason to solidify, analyze, and
discuss with others the specific guidelines for action that are an indispensable part of the
moral life and participation in a genuine moral community. In this connection, dare I cite
Descartes, that veritable poster child for the misunderstandings, excesses, and paranoia of
traditional philosophy? In the Discourse on Method and in the "Preface" to the Principles
of Philosophy, Descartes presents us with a provisional morality to serve us pending the
development of a permanent rationally-certified morality, because "action permits no
delay" (Descartes, “Preface” 186; see also Discourse, part 3). When Descartes says
"action," he precisely does not mean "action" in the sense in which Heidegger thinks
contemplative thought constitutes action, nor does he mean "action" in the sense in which
one might seek to construe, say, reflections on différance to constitute action (Heidegger,
“Postscript” 236; “Letter” 239). Animals are suffering egregiously right now–and all the
contemplative thought in the world can do nothing to help them, if we do not return from
the Cloud-Cuckoo-Land of contemplation and formulate clear guidelines for the ways we
may and may not exercise our wills in the material world.

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VI. A concluding note about moral principles
There is a temptation to construe principles or imperatives in unduly objectified
terms, as we typically do when we think of, say, Kant's categorical imperative. In
Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism I argue for a different, less objectified
conception of moral principles, one that proceeds from the recognition that principles are
regulative notions whose full and final implementation may well be made impossible by
the conditions in which we find ourselves. In the face of my call for universal veganism, I
am often greeted with the observation that not everyone can be a vegan, or cannot be a
vegan as easily as I can be one. As I have argued in several of my books on animals, the
vegan imperative is incumbent on anyone whose life does not literally and directly
depend on the consumption of animals and animal products. That imperative calls on us
to endeavor to make veganism more possible for those who wish to become vegans but
who face structural obstacles and the imperative calls on us to endeavor to persuade
others in a position to do so that morality requires veganism of them. On the account of
principles that I offer in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, there is no assumption
the application of moral principles is clear and straightforward (that it can be reduced to
"the mechanical unfolding of a positivist calculation"), nor that everyone is equally able
to implement them. One hardly needs to be postmodern to see that individuals alone
cannot solve the horrible predicament of animals, and that institutional-societal measures
must be included in our endeavor to release animals from the hell into which we have
cast them.
My aim in these remarks has not been to convince you of the rightness of my
argument in Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, but rather to persuade you that if
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you care about animals and especially if you think that postmodernism can shed light on
the ethical exigencies that face us, you ought to read the book and make a considered
judgment for yourself as to whether the argument I have advanced about the limits of
postmodernism is compelling. For my argument in the book is not that postmodernism is
not worth reading, nor that it has nothing important to tell us in our reflections on
problems of injustice. My argument is that postmodernism, in its various forms, is ill-
equipped to return from the openness of contemplative thought and tell us how to live, in
terms sufficiently specific to constitute guidelines for how to treat sentient beings who


The traditional connection between logos and vision is detailed in Hans Blumenberg's
classic essay "Light as a Metaphor for Truth: At the Preliminary Stage of Philosophical
Concept Formation."

Works Cited
Bernstein, Richard J. "Introduction." The New Constellation: The Ethical-Political
Horizons of Modernity/Postmodernity. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1991.

Blumenberg, Hans. "Light as a Metaphor for Truth: At the Preliminary Stage of
Philosophical Concept Formation," in, Modernity and the Hegemony of Vision. Ed. David
Michael Levin. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. 30-62.

de Fontenay, Elisabeth. "Pourquoi les animaux n'auraient-ils pas droit à un droit des
animaux?" Le Debat 109 (2000): 138-55.

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Gary Steiner

Derrida, Jacques. The Beast and the Sovereign, Vol. 1. Trans. Geoffrey Bennington.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

—. "But as for me, who am I?" The Animal That Therefore I Am. Trans. David Wills.
New York: Fordham University Press, 2008.

Descartes, René. "Preface to The Principles of Philosophy." The Philosophical Writings
of Descartes, Vol. 1. Trans. John Cottingham, et. al. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1985.

—. Discourse on Method. Penguin UK, 1968.

Heidegger, Martin. "Postscript to 'What is Metaphysics?'" Pathmarks. Ed. William McNeill.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

—. "Letter on 'Humanism'." Pathmarks. Ed. William McNeill. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1998.

—. "Conversation on a Country Path." Discourse on Thinking. Trans. John M. Anderson
and E. Hans Freund New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1966.

Immanuel Kant. Critique of Judgment. Hackett Publishing, 1987.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil. "On the Prejudices of Philosophers." Basic
Writings of Nietzsche, sec. 19. Trans. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Modern Library,

—. "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense.” Philosophy and Truth: Selections from
Nietzsche's Notebooks from the Early 1870's. Ed. and trans. Daniel Breazeale. Atlantic
Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press International, 1992.

Steiner, Gary. Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism.
Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus/Humanity Books, 2004

—. Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents: The Moral Status of Animals in the History of
Western Philosophy. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.

—. Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism. Columbia University Press, 2013.

Wolfe, Cary. Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and
Posthumanist Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

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